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Americans for Safe Access Gears Up for Drug Policy Summit

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I hope you’re gearing up and making plans for ASA’s two-day California strategy session, in coordination with Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s West Coast Regional Conference in Berkeley! You can register now for the April 25th and 26th meeting!

ASA leaders and representatives from across California will come to Berkeley to discuss where we’re going as a movement - and we want you in on it!

A lot has happened since our last statewide conference in 2007. The California Attorney General issued guidelines on dispensing collectives/cooperatives and on how cops should comply with California law. President Barack Obama and US Attorney General Eric Holder issued ground-breaking statements on a “new American policy” on federal raids in medical cannabis states, but DEA went out on its own and raided a San Francisco dispensary against the will of the President. One way or another, these developments are going to impact medical cannabis in our state – the question is whether or not it will be on our terms!

Here’s a taste of what’s on the table for the two day meeting:

Working with local law enforcement
- What do the California AG Guidelines mean for law enforcement? What do we do when cops take the law into their own hands, refuse to follow California law, and claim they “prefer” federal law instead? How do we hold police accountable to the law?

What’s changed for city and county dispensing collective regulations
– Some cities and counties have been misrepresenting the AG Guidelines. And some cops are raiding collectives while offering their own “interpretation” of the guidelines. What do they really say, what does it mean – and how do we keep the opposition from sabotaging their impact on dispensing collective regulations?

Civil rights and medical cannabis
– All California patients can be fired from their jobs simply for using medical cannabis. California patients are regularly denied basic health care, welfare, social services, and even have their children taken from them, just because they use medical cannabis legally under California law. This is a fight for our basic rights.

We can’t go it alone: the need to change federal law
– California’s medical cannabis law will always be constrained until Congress acts. The focus on local regulations and state law can overshadow the need to pressure our federal elected officials. How do California Congressional Reps vote? And what can we do to improve it?

The strategy meetings are part of a larger Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference, which will feature numerous trainings designed to turn the average Joe or Jane who cares about an issue into a stellar advocate. Professional trainings on fund raising, working with the media, effective advocacy at the local level, increasing diversity, and others will take up two days and cost only $15 for those who pre-register (only $10 for students, and $20 for “day-of” registration).

This is a deal not to be missed - you could easily expect to pay up to $150 for similar trainings. Thanks to ASA and SSDP’s close relationship over the years – we’re coming together to train and organize California!

Register now – and find information on hotels here. See you there!


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